Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

Roman Girl's Song


Rome, Rome! thou art no more
As thou hast been!
On thy seven hills of yore
Thou satst a queen.

Thou hadst thy triumphs then
Purpling the street,
Leaders and sceptred men
Bow'd at thy feet.

They that thy mantle wore,
As gods were seen–
Rome, Rome! thou art no more
As thou hast been!

Rome! thine imperial brow
Never shall rise:
What hast thou left thee now?
Thou hast thy skies!

Blue, deeply blue, they are,
Gloriously bright!
Veiling thy wastes afar
With colour'd light.

Thou hast the sunset's glow,
Rome, for thy dower,
Flushing tall cypress-bough,
Temple and tower!

And all sweet sounds are thine,
Lovely to hear,
While night, o'er tomb and shrine,
Rests darkly clear.

Many a solemn hymn,
By starlight sung,
Sweeps thro' the arches dim,
Thy wrecks among.

Many a flute's low swell,
On thy soft air
Lingers, and loves to dwell
With summer there.

Thou hast the South's rich gift
Of sudden song,
A charmed fountain, swift,
Joyous, and strong.

Thou hast fair forms that move
With queenly tread;
Thou hast proud fanes above
Thy mighty dead.

Yet wears thy Tiber's shore
A mournful mien:
Rome, Rome! thou art no more
As thou hast been!

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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